Steampunk Flying Machines Conceived from Cardboard
Artist creates intricate sculptures without planning anything in advance
Even though they look like they require hours of planning, Daniel Agdag’s stunning steampunk sculptures are created with virtually no planning – relying only on the human mind and a very sharp scalpel. Forming part of his first solo exhibit, “The Principles of Aerodynamics” feature flying machines that look like they came straight out of a Studio Ghibli film. Keep going for more pictures and an insight into the Melbourne-based sculptor’s creative process.
Agdag describes his process as ‘sketching with cardboard,’ mainly because he cuts each piece based on intuition, and over time, the proportions develop themselves and fully-formed piece presents slowly presents itself. His very first piece was an extremely complex traffic light that featured a mess of wires and junction boxes. Normally his work examines the over-engineering of simple tasks with intricate technologies, and subtly hints at the modern culture of persistent surveillance and abject disregard for preservation of beautiful histories, but this one is focused on the “ongoing pursuit of escape through the metaphor of flight.”
The MARS Gallery in Australia, where the sculptures will be on display until August 31, is quick to sing the artist’s praises on their website:
Agdag will tell you that he makes things out of cardboard. He’s modest. This declaration in no way illuminates the delicate form and eccentric narrative of his work. His pieces are created entirely from the unassuming medium of cardboard and PVA glue. To say he pushes the medium to its limits is an understatement.
While some artists are born knowing which medium to pursue, Agdag proves that a more circuitous path can work just as well, as he describes in an interview with Notes on The Road:
I did fine art originally but I majored in photography and I minored in painting so I wasn’t making anything sculptural. I went back to school after a period and did filmmaking but the cardboard is something that is very much self-taught.
Images by Daniel Agdag